New Environmental Protection Agency rules for carbon emission reductions for the nations’ power plants met alternately with official resistance or silence in Georgia Monday. The rules call for a 30% percent reduction in carbon emissions by the year 2030. Rather than being set from a universal baseline for all states, EPA officials say they came up with state by state goals by looking at present state emission levels and imagining what they call a “reasonable application” of technology could produce.
The Army says three of its bases in Georgia will soon be generating some of their electricity from solar power. The Army announced Thursday it plans to install arrays of solar panels at Fort Stewart near Savannah, Fort Benning outside Columbus and Fort Gordon in Augusta.Those plans are part of an Army-wide goal to increase its reliance on renewable energy.
The main winter storm has now pushed out of Georgia, leaving a parting gift of two more inches of snow Wednesday night from Macon north. Winter storm warnings will remain in effect until 1 p.m. Thursday because of the chance for more light snow wrapping around the back end of the system.
The state commission that regulates utilities unanimously approved a power rate hike Tuesday. It will be phased in over the next three years. Georgia Power customers will see their average residential bills increase by $2.19 starting Jan. 1. Then, they will increase by $3.61 in 2015 and by $2.96 in 2016. The rate hike will help pay for additional transmission lines, and new grid technology. Public Service Commissioner Stan Wise says the hike also needed to pay for pollution control at the utility’s coal plants.
The radio has become the latest battleground in Georgia Power’s fight to increase electric rates for consumers across the state. AARP Georgia took to the airwaves opposing the idea November 20 just two days after Georgia Power and several interveners in the rate increase case signed on to a settlement agreement.
State utility regulators begin hearings Tuesday on Georgia Power’s request to increase rates by nearly $8 a month for the typical customer. All told, the increase will generate an additional $482 million for the company, which officials say is needed to offset higher costs and lower revenues from customers using less energy.